Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine could be confirmed as the next head of NASA on Thursday.
Bridenstine survived a close vote in the U.S. Senate Wednesday, after senators deadlocked, 49-49 on a procedural vote. With Vice President Mike Pence out of state, it took Arizona Senator Jeff Flake to change his vote, giving Bridenstine the 50-48 result he needed to advance.
According to the AP, space historian Roger Launius says Bridenstine's nomination was the closest vote and most contentious in NASA's nearly 60 years.
A final vote is expected as soon as Thursday.
President Trump nominated the Republican congressman from Oklahoma's first district to be NASA Administrator last year.
Bridenstine is the former Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.
Florida Democrat Bill Nelson criticized Bridenstine as one of the most divisive politicians. Democrats also blasted Bridenstine's lack of space experience and past rejection of mainstream climate change science.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.